Facebook Removes Zelenskyy ‘Deepfake’ Video

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  • Facebook said Wednesday it removed a “deepfake” video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
  • The video purported to show Zelenskyy calling on his country’s forces to surrender.
  • Zelenskyy responded with a real video in which he pledged to keep fighting “until our victory.”

A “deepfake” video that claimed to show Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calling on his country’s forces to lay down their arms has been removed from Facebook after it began circulating early Wednesday.

In a statement on Twitter, Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said the video had violated the company’s policy against “misleading manipulated media.”

The crude video was released around the same time that the television channel Ukraine 24 was hacked during a national broadcast on March 16, according to The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. Hackers modified the station’s news ticker to urge Ukrainians to give up their weapons.

A still image from the deepfake, as well as text from the purported statement, was also posted on the channel’s website, the BBC reported.

Zelenskyy himself rebutted the deepfake video in a post shared on his Telegram account, calling it a “childish provocation,” Reuters reported.

“We are not going to lay down any weapons until our victory,” he said.

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